Creator: Félix Gatineau (1857-1927)
Abstract: Papers of Félix Gatineau, including newspaper clippings, diaries, correspondence, programs from Franco-American gatherings, and photos. Language: French and English Extent: (measures need to be taken) 2 boxes and 43 vol. stored separately.
Access: Materials are available to researchers without restriction.
Separated Material: Diaries, 43 vol.
Source: Donation, Fr. Wilfrid Dufault
Preferred Citation: Félix Gatineau Papers, French Institute, Assumption University.
Scope & Content: This collection consists of a variety of documents that concern the social and political life of the Franco-American group not only in Southbridge, but all over New England and in the Mid-West. Gatineau travelled extensively participating a great number of Franco American gatherings. There is a great number of pamphlets and programs from these gatherings as well as correspondence be tween Gatineau and the Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste.
Biographical Note: Félix Gatineau was born November 12, 1857 in Sainte-Victoire-de-Sorel. At the age of 20, he immigrated to Southbrige, Massachusetts as did many other residents of the Lower Richelieu Valley such as the Harpin, Sansoucy, and Hus Lemoine families. He first worked in the Hamilton cotton factory, but was quickly hired at the local grocery store and pharmacy. He later opened his own grocery store with Joseph Proulx. He eventually sold it however to play a more crucial role in the social and political life of the Franco-American community. He was President of the Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste (USJB) and later ran their Caisse des vieillards. And he was a founding member of the Société Historique des Franco-Américains. Gatineau was not only involved in Franco-American affairs however. An ardent supporter of veterans rights, he was elected a number of times as a republican state representative (1906, 1920, 1921, and 1926). He married Odile Giard on Juin 20, 1882. Gatineau died December 31, 1927, at statue was built in his honor in Southbridge by the USJB. It was later moved in 2002 at which moment Claire Quintal, founding director emerita of the French Institute, made a speech honoring his legacy. Apart from these archives, Gatineau wrote two books concerning Franco-Americans : Histoire des Franco-Américains de Southbridge, Massachusetts (1919) and Historique des Conventions générales des Canadiens-Français aux États-Unis (1927).
Series Outline: The records of the Félix Gatineau Collection are organized into eight series:
Series 1. Biographical Documents Series
Series 2. Correspondence Series
Series 3. Genealogy Series
Series 4. Southbridge Series
Series 5. Franco-American Gatherings Series
Series 6. Photo Series
Series 7. Volumes & Ephemera Series
Series 8. Diaries (Stored Separately)
Full Finding Aid: